Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sean DeLear - Sheila from Funky Cold Medina has died!

Sean DeLear has passed away? Damn, that's rough. He was Tony when I met him in 1980, was it at the Brave Dog? A shy, unassuming kid with a wide smile. Not long after he broke his neck and spent a year with one of those Frankenstein contraptions around his head. He became much more outgoing, becoming a mainstay at the underground punk clubs. Then he started wearing sheath dresses and calling himself Sean deLear. He was at every Red Wedding gig, even traveled down to San Diego with the band. An incredibly loyal fan to the bands he loved, his mere presence in the audience was an event unto itself.

Before long he had his own amazing band, Glue. I was at his first gig. Was it at Club Fuck? It was his time, he took the stage, he owned it. Every bit as great as the best on the scene. 

In 1989 Sean DeLear was cast as Sheila in Tone Loc and Matt Dike’s video for Funky Cold Medina, one of the biggest selling singles in history. I suppose that will be his most lasting legacy. But not with me, I didn't even know that until years later. It was his electrifying stage performances I'll remember.

The last time I saw Sean was in 2002, outside of Akbar in Silver Lake. I called out,”Tony!” because I was kind of an asshole that way. I don’t think anyone knew his real name that didn’t know him back in 1980. He WAS Sean deLear, one of the most beloved Los Angeles celebrities. The previous time I’d seen him was in 1990, when I kicked him out of my house in the middle of the night for fucking the tall, impossibly good looking guy I was fucking. But then, that guy aways was a star fucker and Sean was a star.

Truly one of a kind, Sean DeLear was bright, talented, and one of the greatest guys you could possibly hang out with. Unforgettable. Irreplaceable. Fabulous!

Marshall O'Boy said it best: "I first met Sean DeLear doing sound at the Music Machine in West LA in the 80s. The Music Machine played host to some of the biggest bands around, X, The Red Hot Chill Peppers, Guns n Roses, Lords Of The New Church, Nymphs, Bo Diddle, Social get the picture. And to be sure, the scene was still a bit "closeted" at best and Rock in general was homophobic. So, amongst these legends, out pops Sean DeLear, This skinny little waif of a boy, in a wig and a miniskirt. He wasn't doing it like some punk bands did it, for attention. This is who Sean was. Sean and his band Glue just knocked out a set like anybody else. Pay no attention to that drag queen on the stage. At a time when most queens were lip-synching in gay bars, Sean was kicking out the jams with some of the most awesome bands around. His just being himself sent a message louder than a bullhorn at a gay rally. To all the famous drag queens I know, let it go out far and wide, Sean DeLear was there first.... Sean paved the way!"